Headlines — August 9, 2022

August 9, 2022

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William DeOreo Announces Bid as Republican Candidate for HD10

Boulder Republican William DeOreo announced his bid to represent Colorado House District 10 on Monday.

Several people – most of them from the Democratic Party – have come forward expressing their intent to run for the seat since incumbent State Representative Edie Hooton withdrew from the race late last month.

Republican DeOreo has lived in Boulder for 50 years, graduating from CU with degrees in engineering in 1974 and 1978. Since then, he’s worked primarily on water and energy issues before making the transition into politics.

The Boulder County Democratic Party will host a candidate forum for the HD 10 race this Saturday at 10am.

Colorado Ranks High in Child Well-Being as Kids Face Mental-Health Crisis

Colorado ranks 16th in the nation for promoting children’s overall well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest report on child wellness, even as children have struggled with unprecedented levels of poor mental health.

In Colorado, more than 10%, about 109,000 kids, reported experiencing anxiety or depression in 2020.

Erica Manoatl, manager of research initiatives for the Colorado Children’s Campaign, said children of color and LGBTQ+ children are at greater risk than their white heterosexual peers.

“We saw higher shares of Colorado’s Black students, students of two or more races, and students who are American Indian or Alaska Native; all of those groups had higher shares of attempted suicide compared to other students,” Manoatl outlined.

Colorado saw the second-largest increase in the mortality rate in the nation for kids age one to 19. Between 2010 and 2020, there were 31 deaths per 100,000 children, up from 25 deaths per 100,000 a decade earlier. The state made improvements in 11 of the 16 indicators of child and family well-being spotlighted in the report, notably in the teen birthrate and the share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

The report’s recommendations include expanding access to mental-health providers, especially in schools where kids spend the majority of their days. Kids who grow up in poverty are two to three times more likely to develop mental-health conditions than their peers.

Manoatl argued initiatives helping families to meet their basic needs are key to children’s well-being.

“Having nutritious food at home, having stable housing or living in a safe neighborhood, or knowing that their family is financially secure,” Manoatl explained. “When we take care of those basic needs of kids, that allows them to have less anxiety, to feel fewer symptoms of depression.”

Manoatl noted Colorado saw a significant drop in the number of teen pregnancies, which numerous studies cite as a potential barrier to kids’ success later in life.

Lack of Signatures Keeps School Funding Measure Off Ballot

A Colorado school funding measure will not be on this November’s ballot due to a lack of signatures.

Chalkbeat Colorado reports that Initiative 63 needed 125,000 signatures in order for the measure to be on the ballot. The measure would have dedicated an estimated $1 billion to help school districts recruit and retain educators.

For more than a decade Colorado has failed to comply with a constitutional requirement to increase school  funding each year by the rate of population growth plus inflation.

Colorado voters will be able to decide in November whether to pass the Healthy School Meals For All program.

Besides covering the cost of school meals, school districts who participate could also get money to buy healthy local foods, increase wages for food service workers and upgrade equipment.

Boulder to Distribute More than $1.8 Million in Grants for Arts Initiatives

The Boulder Arts Commission, an extension of the city government’s office of arts and culture, has allocated $1.8 million to various arts initiatives.

So far this year the Boulder Arts Commission has awarded 88 grants, for a total of $925,000. Just over 900 thousands dollars more remain available to distribute as the year goes on.

The grant amounts range from sums of about $500 enabling artists to attend professional development events and conferences about their craft, to $50,000 for extra-large organizations like the Dairy Arts Center and KGNU.

Denver Art Museum to Return Looted Artifacts to Cambodia

Four Cambodian relics, some dating back to the 7th century, are leaving Denver and returning home.

The artifacts ended up at the Denver Art Museum through an antique dealer, Douglas Latchford, who allegedly presented the art museum with a fake ownership history.

A museum spokesperson told the Denver Post that the institution is “grateful that these pieces will be returning to their rightful home.”